Davison Igbinosun was back at his high school for a workout when his phone rang.
The Freshman All-American cornerback at Ole Miss was now in the transfer portal looking for a new home, so phone calls weren’t uncommon. The Boston area code, however, caught him off guard.
It was Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, and it was a call that Igbinosun was thrilled to receive, but never thought would come.
“I mean, Ohio State was the place I wanted to be since I was a little boy,” Igbinosun said on Thursday. “Out of high school, they didn’t actually come and get me. So hopping in the portal, if I’m being honest with you, I didn’t think that they would offer me.”
Igbinosun was a 4-star cornerback out of New Jersey, so expectations were high for him at Ole Miss, but winning a starting job as a true freshman exceeded almost everyone’s expectations.
That experience has not only given him the kind of confidence that is necessary to handle the pressures of big-time college football, but the comfort in knowing that he is strong enough to handle whatever comes next.
“Coming in as a freshman last year, that’s probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever done in my entire life,” Igbinosun said. “So I feel like everything that happens to me moving forward is not going to be as hard.”
Igbinosun has earned rave reviews from his coaches since his arrival. He is making plays in practice and correcting mistakes when they occur. He has adapted well in his move from Ole Miss to Ohio State, but there are certainly some differences.
“The competition,” he said. “Every school preaches competition, but Ohio State lives competition every single day, from the weight room to the field. You’re competing in everything.”
The benefits of that kind of focus are “astronomical” according to Igbinosun, who left New Jersey as a 17-year old and is now primed to help the Buckeyes contend for a national championship.
There was also another reason for choosing Ohio State.
“I want to be a first-round draft pick,” he said. “I feel like if you come to Ohio State, if you play against the best players every day, you will be prepared.”
When Ohio State has gone to the transfer portal in the past, it is done with considerable thought to needs and fit. And it usually results in the Buckeyes bringing in an eventual starter.
Ohio State is returning three cornerbacks with starting experience this year, so bringing in another challenger for a starting spot could create some drama. Eventually, however, the drama goes away and reality takes over.
“I feel like my play speaks for itself,” he said. “So I feel like other good football players have to embrace me because I’m also a good football player I feel like. So I feel like if you see real, you will accept it.”
Igbinosun is just a sophomore, but he brings experience to an Ohio State secondary that needs to be better than what it was a year ago. How is he planning to help this year?
“I’m a big corner. I’m a physical corner. I want to put my hands on you,” Igbinsoun said. “I’m gonna come up, make tackles. I’m gonna get pass breakups, get interceptions. I’m also a ballhawk as well. I just do a little bit of everything.”